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Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Republicans Offer Alternative Energy Bill: DOA

House Republicans have introduced an energy bill, know as the America Energy Act, as an alternative to the Democratic plan sponsored by Representatives Henry A. Waxman of California and Edward J. Markey of Massachusetts. The Waxman-Markey bill passed the Energy and Commerce Committee last month on a 33-to-25 vote.

The Republican proposal, drafted by a group led by Representative Mike Pence of Indiana, relies heavily on nuclear power, setting a goal of building 100 reactors over the next 20 years. The bill provides incentives for increased oil and gas production on public and private lands and offshore. It would also authorize oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska.

The Republican measure does not include any mandatory cap on emissions of heat-trapping gases, relying instead on nuclear power, natural gas and renewable fuels like wind, solar and biomass power to reduce production of the gases.

The Democratic measure is expected to be voted on by the full House before the July 4 Congressional recess. (NYT, 6/9/09)

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